Nobodies: Modern-day slavery in the United States

The other day I spoke with John Bowe about his new book, “Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy.” I’d been appalled by the stories of slavery happening here in the States: immigrants forced to pick fruit in Florida, armed guards keeping welders in a factory in Tulsa, Okla. The workers in Bowe’s book aren’t merely pressured, mind you, but forced, under threat of violence.

But really, I was just pretending to care.

To claim otherwise would contradict the facts: I buy a new shirt now and then. A stereo every decade or so. Charcoal. A rug. Food. In 2007, I can’t say that I don’t know — those prices are just too low when you start calculating the time and labor behind them. But if you’re like me, you don’t calculate all that often. Sure, you boycott a particularly egregious company or two, but a lurking suspicion tells you they’ve all got dirty hands, and gradually your indignation wears away.

As it is, 12 to 27 million people are enslaved around the world today. Most are women and children. How many slaves are there in the United States? Impossible to say. The CIA has estimated that 50,000 women and children are brought to the country each year as sex slaves; many more are trapped doing agricultural, garment and domestic work. Bowe spoke with a few of them.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the anti-slavery movement’s first major victory, the abolition of the British slave trade. Two centuries later, Bowe offers a look at how little progress has been made. Taking us from Florida to Oklahoma to the island of Saipan, he provides astonishing, in-depth accounts of the forced labor behind the cheap goods consumed in this country and elsewhere. These are not obscure products — major corporations we’re all familiar with profit from modern slavery, he writes.

For a subject so deep in an American’s bones, slavery confuses us. The word conjures up clear, monstrous images of chains and auction blocks, plantations and the Middle Passage. But this is not the stuff of modern slavery. Not only do some of Bowe’s subjects technically receive a wage, many are even employed — indirectly, through sub-contractors — by the country’s most prominent companies. Surely this cannot be the same phenomenon we learned about in history class.

As Bowe illustrates, the logistics have changed — legal ownership has been replaced by domination and power — but the fundamental element remains: “A person not free to leave their job, held in place by violence or the threat of violence, to be exploited by someone else,” is how he defines it.

Since its abolition in the United States, slavery has lived on in a variety of disguises: tenant farming, chain gangs assembled through flimsy arrests, guest worker programs just a step away from forced servitude. Nowhere is slavery’s modern-day reconfiguration clearer than with bonded labor, an extremely common arrangement where immigrants come to a country to work, only to find themselves owing vast sums to those who help ferry them over, for housing and even for the job itself and the tools of their employment — a sack for the fruit they collect.

In cases like these, the workers’ employers are often in league with those who helped them immigrate, or perhaps they rent out the squalid quarters where the workers stay or charge exorbitant prices for minor services like check-cashing. Finding themselves in such debt, the workers are forced to stay on — at risk of violent retribution if they leave — and surrender their wages until their obligation is paid.

Bowe captures not just the misery of these situations, but also how often they happen right under our noses. Frequently these years-long scenes of exploitation, terror and violence play out within walking distance of those who could intervene — neighbors, a hotel or gas station attendant, even police. But language barriers, fear of reprisal against family members and ignorance of the law keep the slaves from seeking help.

In cases where authorities do step in, it can be a high bar to prove slavery. On paper, the arrangement can be made to look legitimate. Meanwhile fellow immigrants are often reluctant to testify, or to talk to a government official, fearing deportation. Bowe describes how even those willing to cooperate can be difficult to work with. Profoundly poor, they lack that which facilitates basic communication and organization in this country: a phone, a permanent address, a regular work schedule.

But convictions do occur, and Bowe says their mere possibility raised a central question for him as he researched the book: Why would an employer bother risking prison time, when legal work from immigrant labor is already so cheap?

Bowe says his attempts to find an answer brought him to a startling truth: It’s not about the money. Not entirely, anyway.

“The amount (of money) it would take to make these supply chains fairer is negligible,” he told me over the phone. “Fifty dollars a year from each household would ensure that 1-2 million of these exploited farmworkers got a minimum wage. In the garment world, a six percent increase in prices would end the worst abuses worldwide.”

And while even the smallest pricing advantage can make a huge difference between competitors like Target and Wal-Mart, Bowe sees no reason the retailers couldn’t make a pact to eliminate the worst offenses.

“If OPEC can make agreements, why can’t they?” Bowe asked.

Given how easy it would be to dislodge the most exploitative practices — and given that we don’t — Bowe believes a deeper force keeps them in place: power. Throughout the book he argues that the unconscious nature of power conspires to maintain the status quo, at least as much as simple economics do.

At the center of slavery, he has said, is a truth about “how free and powerful people respond to un-free and less powerful people.”

Indeed, interviews with the men and women involved in slavery cases reveal not just cold financial calculations, but a psychology of domination.

Sometimes, that psychology is as camouflaged and convoluted as the slavery itself. In his chapter on Tulsa, Bowe quotes a factory owner who insists he was just trying to help the 54 Indian welders he was convicted of defrauding and coercing.

For Bowe, perhaps the biggest shock in writing the book was coming to see his own complicity.

“It’s not me versus the evil corporations, or me versus the evil government. We’re all part of it,” he said.

Of course “it” can be maddeningly indirect — maybe slaves made your rug, or maybe they merely made some of the materials for the factory where the rug was made. But it’s precisely this sort of roundabout path that allows slavery to continue. As long as globalization pushes poor people to the margins, and keeps the relatively wealthy awash in low-priced goods and services, Bowe says, the problem will remain.

Slavery may go underreported, but we know by now that it exists. It’s a marvel of modern society that we can send a camera to Mars but not quite remember to keep the forced servitude of our fellow humans at the forefront. Can anything change that?

Here Bowe is canny. The lines he draws from slavery and poverty and globalization don’t end at abstract moral outrage. They go straight to our way of life. Ignoring slavery and the conditions that support it will ultimately unravel society, he believes.

It won’t happen with some dramatic tipping point, he said — “life will just start to suck.”

Bowe described a United States that doesn’t collapse so much as come to resemble the Philippines: “One percent of the population will own 75 percent of the wealth, and 93 percent will live in squalor.”

“You’ll have security everywhere, kidnappings will be common,” he suggested. “The very fabric of your life will change.”

At a basic, depressing level, the vast gulf between rich and poor, powerful and exploited, will ultimately strip simple human interactions of their humanity, he said:

“You hire a carpenter to work on your house, but instead of getting to know the guy, hanging out, discovering you have things in common — instead of that, you just think of him as a potential thief, and you have to hire extra security to protect yourself.”

The core of Bowe’s book isn’t just outrage over the instances of modern slavery he reveals — at its heart is an even deeper sadness over the squandered humanity they represent. In every story we see not just the horrible abuse, but the human beings inflicting and suffering it.

So what can be done? For starters, Bowe argues that more money should be available to the Department of Labor and other agencies responsible for — and perfectly capable of — upholding labor laws. As reports of slavery and exploitation have risen, funding for these offices has fallen. More broadly, Bowe imagines a kind of “global New Deal” — an international minimum wage, fairer trade regulations that would prevent agricultural subsidies from burying grain prices.

But Bowe isn’t a policy guy. Having spent years reporting on a profoundly intimate level, his approach tends toward the personal: “Do the weird thing and be generous,” he advised people who want to make a small difference. “Pay someone a living wage, even if nobody knows you’re doing it. Be kind to your fellow man.”

John Bowe will read from “Nobodies” at Book Passage at 7 p.m. Wednesday. 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. (415) 927-0960.

A number of anti-slavery organizations exist, for instance:
Free the Slaves www.freetheslaves.net
Polaris Project www.polarisproject.org
Anti-Slavery www.antislavery.org
Not for Sale www.notforsalecampaign.org


source: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2007/10/01/onthejob.DTL

Human trafficking exists ‘right here, right now’

Nuns told stories of young girls torn from their families and sold into prostitution to more than 60 people gathered for a vigil outside the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse on Sunday.

The vigil was held in recognition of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

Temperatures were below freezing outside, but members of the public joined the vigil, and drivers passing by honked in support.

“We really didn’t know how many would be here,” said Sister Betsey Goodwin.

This marks the first vigil the sisters have held for human trafficking victims. It came a day before the third National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

Nuns from 16 congregations held signs that said “Stop Modern-Day Slavery” and “Human Trafficking Happens in Our Own Backyard.”

According to the press release, “While many call [human trafficking] a hidden crime, it exists right here, right now in the Boston area.”

Sister Marilyn McGoldrick read accounts of women forced into prostitution in the Boston area at the vigil, along with prayers for the victims.

“Systems of justice don’t exist in my town. People disappear. Rape is all too common,” McGoldrick said, reading an account of a young woman was a victim of human trafficking. “I also prostituted to get money. Young girls like me dream of making the trip to the U.S.”

The account was from an 11-year-old Guatemalan girl.

Another instance of human trafficking in the Boston area was at a Framingham nail salon where the owner kept young women used for sex, as described by State Regent Linda Coletti from the Catholic Daughters of America.

Places such as nail salons and massage parlors are known for holding trafficked victims, said Sister Carole Lombard: “They’re fronts for prostitution, for organized crime.”

Many of the victims are immigrants, Lombard said, but some are trafficked within the country, including children picked up at malls or train stations. While many human trafficking cases go unreported, Sister Peggy Cummins said it is estimated that there are around 17,500 victims in the U.S.

Along with the vigil, the sisters have held two symposiums in honor of human trafficking victims. They continue to work with local organizations such as the Anti-Trafficking Coalition of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and Kim’s Project, an organization that helps victims of violence and prostitution.

For their efforts, Pope Benedict XVI congratulated the “women religious” last year for their commitment to raising awareness and educating the public about human trafficking.

“We believe that raising awareness is an action,” said Sister Joanne Gallagher, CSJ.

source: http://www.wickedlocal.com/allston/news/x1409376265/Human-trafficking-exists-right-here-right-now

A blow against slavery

Attention to human trafficking has focused in recent years on sexual exploitation, but one of every five victims is estimated to endure forced labor in factories or on farms. The Obama administration has recognized that reality and is to be commended for bringing to justice two farm owners who conspired with others to hold 44 men from Thailand in forced labor through debts, threats and restraint.

Brothers Alec and Mike Sou, co-owners of Aloun Farm on the Ewa plain, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to conspiring to commit forced labor. Each faces up to five years in prison for their roles in a labor trafficking operation.

The Justice Department should honor the Thai government’s request that it take care of the workers who were victims of the scheme. The workers, most of them married with children, secured loans to pay the recruitment fees, using their homes and subsistence farmlands as collateral.

Slavery became illegal in the United States 145 years ago, but President Barack Obama said in Tokyo two months ago that the industry has become a vast “transnational problem.” He urged countries to put a “stop to this scourge of modern-day slavery once and for all.”

The Sou brothers were accused of lying on visa applications to import the workers. California businessman Matee Chowsanitphon admitted having brokered the agreement in a trip to Thailand in 2003 and escorted the workers to Hawaii the following year for a price of $5,500 per worker. Once they arrived, the Sous took their passports, put them to work at paltry wages and restricted their contact with others.

“Holding other human beings in servitude against their will is a violation of individual rights that is intolerable in a free society,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for civil rights.

In the past fiscal year, his division brought the highest number of labor trafficking cases to court in a single year, according to a Justice news release.

“Labor traffickers prey on vulnerable victims and their dreams of a better life,” added U.S. Attorney Florence T. Nakakuni. “Those who conspire to hold workers in forced labor undermine this country’s promise of liberty and opportunity. We will continue to hold accountable those who seek to enrich themselves at the expense of the freedom, rights and dignity of others.”

Farm workers are especially vulnerable, since they are denied by federal labor law the right to organize and form unions or receive overtime pay, while minimum wage and workplace safety protections are hardly enforced.

The Sou brothers are not likely to be the only employers in Hawaii to have exploited foreign workers. The Justice Department should use the Sous’ case as a starting point for an extensive crackdown on employers that enslave their workers in Hawaii.

source: http://www.starbulletin.com/editorials/20100117_A_blow_against_slavery.html?page=1&c=y

Men Who Buy Sex


‘I don’t get anything out of sex with prostitutes except for a bad feeling,” says Ben. An apparently average, thirtysomething, middle-class man, Ben had taken an extended lunchbreak from his job in advertising to talk about his experiences of buying sex. Shy and slightly nervous, he told me, “I am hoping that talking about it might help me work out why I do it.”

I, too, was hoping to understand his motives better. Ben was one of 700 men interviewed for a major international research project seeking to uncover the reality about men who buy sex. The project spanned six countries, and of the 103 customers we spoke to in London – where I was one of the researchers – most were surprisingly keen to discuss their experiences.

The men didn’t fall into obvious stereotypes. They were aged between 18 and 70 years old; they were white, black, Asian, eastern European; most were employed and many were ­educated beyond school level. In the main they were presentable, polite, with average-to-good social skills. Many were husbands and boyfriends; just over half were either married or in a relationship with a woman.

Research published in 2005 found that the numbers of men who pay for sex had doubled in a decade. The ­authors attributed this rise to “a greater acceptability of commercial sexual contact”, yet many of our ­interviewees told us that they felt ­intense guilt and shame about paying for sex. “I’m not satisfied in my mind” was how one described his feelings after paying for sex.

Another told me that he felt “disappointed – what a waste of money”, “lonely still” and “guilty about my relationship with my wife”. In fact, many of the men were a mass of contradictions. Despite finding their experiences “unfulfilling, empty, terrible”, they continued to visit prostitutes.

I interviewed 12 of the men, and found it a fascinating experience. One told me about his experience of childhood cruelty and neglect and linked this to his inability to form close ­relationships with anyone, particularly women. Alex admitted sex with ­prostitutes made him feel empty, but he had no idea how to get to know women “through the usual routes”.

When I asked him about his feelings ­towards the women he buys he said that on the one hand, he wants ­prostitutes to get to know and like him and, on the other, he is “not under ­delusions” that the encounters are anything like a real relationship.

“I want my ideal prostitute not to behave like one,” he said, “to role-play to be a pretend girlfriend, a casual date, not business-like or mechanical. To a third person it looks like we’re in love.”

I felt compassion for Alex. No one had shown him how to form a bond with another human being and he was searching for something that commercial sex was never going to provide.

But another of the interviewees left me feeling concerned. Darren was young, good-looking and bright; I asked him how often he thought the women he paid enjoyed the sex. “I don’t want them to get any pleasure,” he told me. “I am paying for it and it is her job to give me pleasure. If she enjoys it I would feel cheated.”

I asked if he felt prostitutes were different to other women. “The fact that they’re prepared to do that job where others won’t, even when they’re skint, means there’s some capability inside them that permits them to do it and not be disgusted,” he said. He seemed full of a festering, potentially explosive misogyny.

When asked what would end ­prostitution, one interviewee laughed and said, “Kill all the girls.” Paul told me that it would take “all the men to be locked up”. But most of them told the researchers that they would be ­easily deterred if the current laws were implemented…

Fines, public ­exposure, employers being informed, being issued with an Asbo or the risk of a criminal record would stop most of the men from continuing to pay for sex. Discovering the women were ­trafficked, pimped or otherwise coerced would appear not to be so ­effective.

Almost half said they ­believed that most women in prostitution are victims of pimps (“the pimp does the ­psychological raping of the woman,” explained one). But they still continued to visit them.

An upcoming new law will make it illegal for men to pay for sex with a trafficked or pimped woman – and a punter’s ignorance of a woman’s ­circumstances will be no defence.

Critics have suggested that this is ­unfair, that a man can’t possibly know whether a woman is being exploited. Our interviews challenged this ­notion.

The men knew, to some extent, about abuse and coercion in prostitution – they weren’t operating under the ­convenient illusion that women enter the trade because they love sex.

More than half admitted that they either knew or believed that a majority of women in prostitution were lured, tricked or trafficked.

More than one third said they thought the prostitutes they visited had been trafficked to London from another country, and a small number said they suspected that they had ­encountered a trafficking victim based on the woman’s inability to speak the local language or on how young or vulnerable they appeared.

“I could tell she was new to the country,” said one man. “To be new in a country and be a prostitute – it can’t be a choice . . . She looked troubled.”

Another said that he had “seen women with bruises, cuts and eastern European accents in locations where lots of trafficked women and girls are”. One man suspected that an African woman he had met was ­trafficked ­because “she was frightened and ­nervous. She told me she had been tricked. I had sex with her and she seemed fine with the sex. She asked me to help her, but I said there was little I could do. She might have been lying to me.”

One of the most interesting findings was that many believed men would “need” to rape if they could not pay for sex on demand. One told me, “Sometimes you might rape someone: you can go to a prostitute instead.”

Another put it like this: “A desperate man who wants sex so bad, he needs sex to be relieved. He might rape.” I concluded from this that it’s not feminists such as Andrea Dworkin and myself who are responsible for the idea that all men are potential rapists – it’s sometimes men themselves.

Half of the interviewees had bought sex outside of the UK, mostly in Amsterdam, and visiting an area where prostitution is legal or openly advertised had given them a renewed dedication to buying sex when they returned to the UK.

Almost half said that they first paid for sex when they were below the age of 21. “Dad took me and my older brother,” said David. “He paid.  Maybe he wanted to make sure we weren’t gay. We went to a brothel. Dad didn’t do it, and I don’t think he told my mum.”

Another man paid for sex during a stag trip to Thailand with eight of his friends. He was disappointed. “It was a Russian girl, it wasn’t the ­escort experience. She didn’t want to talk, just lay on the bed and wanted to do the [sex] act only.”

Many men seemed to want a real relationship with a woman and were disappointed when this didn’t develop: “It’s just a sex act, no emotion. Be prepared to accept this or don’t go at all. It’s not a wife or girlfriend.”

­Others were clear that they paid for sex in order to be able to totally control the encounter, including Bob, who said, “Look, men pay for women because he can have whatever and whoever he wants.

Lots of men go to prostitutes so they can do things to them that real women would not put up with.”

Although some of the men said they thought the women they bought ­enjoyed the sex, many others admitted that they thought the women would be feeling “disgusted”, “miserable”, “dirty” and “scared”. Ahmed said he thought the woman might feel “relief that I’m not going to kill her”.

Only 6% of the men we spoke to had been arrested for soliciting ­prostitutes. “Deterrents would only work if ­enforced,” said one. “Any negative would make you reconsider. The law’s not enforced now, but if any negative thing happened as a consequence it would deter me.”

Perhaps the new law will make Albert think twice about paying for sex. He told me, “If I’d get in trouble for doing it, I wouldn’t do it. In this country, the police are fine with men visiting prostitutes.”

Read the research project’s report here (pdf)

All names have been changed.

source: http://www.knowthelies.com/?q=node/5099

Trafficking: Issues and Framework of Laws

Trafficking of human beings is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of people for the purpose of exploitation. Trafficking involves a process of using illicit means such as threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability. Exploitation includes forcing people into prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. For children exploitation may include also, illicit international adoption, trafficking for early marriage, recruitment as child soldiers, for begging or for sports (such as child camel jockeys or football players)

Trafficking in human beings is a global issue, but a lack of systematic research means that reliable data on the trafficking of human beings that would allow comparative analyses and the design of countermeasures is scarce. There is a need to strengthen the criminal justice response to trafficking through legislative reform, awareness raising and training, as well as through national and international cooperation. The support and protection of victims who give evidence is key to prosecuting the ringleaders behind the phenomenon. The trafficking of Human beings is a matter of global concern as it involves the violation of fundamental rights.  Although numerous separate abuses that contravene both national and international law are committed during the course of trafficking, it is the combination of the victim’s displacement from their community and their commercialised exploitation that makes trafficking distinct.  There is a large body of international and national instruments like declarations, conventions and prohibiting trafficking.  An overview of selected International conventions that regulate trafficking is presented below.

The United Nations obligates States to refrain from committing human rights violations and also to take positive steps to ensure that individuals are able to enjoy their human rights. A State’s legal obligations are articulated in human rights instruments, such as treaties and conventions. The UN also drafts politically binding documents that do not have the force of law, such as declarations and resolutions, but which nevertheless represent important guidelines on States’ obligations. More information about the United Nations system, human rights documents and enforcement mechanisms can be accessed from the International Law section of this site.

The United Nations addresses trafficking in women from various directions. First, the UN human rights instruments apply to women and men equally, and are relevant to the kinds of abuses that women suffer in cases of trafficking. In addition, the UN international standards on the treatment of crime victims also obligate States to protect victims of trafficking. Second, of the types of violence against women addressed by this site, trafficking in women was perhaps the first to receive the attention of the UN as a transnational crime. This section, therefore, includes a historical overview of the UN conceptualization of trafficking, prior to the emergence of an international women’s human rights movement. Third, the UN treaties and resolutions that articulate the rights of women are applicable to the situation of trafficking and define trafficking as a form of gender-based violence. Since the early 1990’s, all major UN instruments on States’ commitment to ensure women the full enjoyment of their human rights and their protection from violence have included specific obligations to combat trafficking in women. Fourth, the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime entered into force in September 2003. The accompanying Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children received its 40th ratification in September 2003 and entered into force on December 25, 2003.

The Trafficking Protocol contains the international consensus definition of trafficking and sets forth State obligations to prevent trafficking, to protect victims and to prosecute perpetrators of trafficking. For more information on the Trafficking Protocol, please see the section entitled The Trafficking Protocol and Recent Initiatives. Finally, at its 60th session in April of 2004 the United Nations Commission on Human Rights appointed a Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children for the explicit purpose of focusing on the human rights of victims of trafficking. To do so, the rapporteur’s job is to gather and exchange information from governments, non-governmental organizations and victims of trafficking in order to propose appropriate measures to prevent and remedy trafficking violations. Working within the major international instruments and definitions of trafficking, the Special Rapporteur will conduct country visits, publish reports, and take up cases where individual or widespread rights abuses have occurred.

States are obligated to protect the rights of trafficking victims under general human rights instruments. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guarantees women the right to life, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to security of person. This Covenant also grants trafficked persons the right to an effective remedy for acts violating their fundamental human rights. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights provides such basic guarantees as the right to an adequate standard of living (including food, clothing and housing), the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, the right to education and the right to favorable work conditions, which includes fair wages, equal pay for equal work and reasonable limitation of working hours.

1. International Agreement for the suppression of the white slave traffic  – 1904.

The agreement was formulated with the intension of securing for women of full age who have   suffered abuse or compulsion against criminal traffic know as the white slave trade.

2.  International convention does the suppression of the white slave Traffic 1910.

This convention criminalised the procurement enticement or leading away of women or girl under the age of 21, even with her consent for immoral purpose irrespective of whether may have been committed in different countries.

4. Slavery convention 1926

States parties are enjoyed to discourage all forms of forced labour slavery means the owner’s control over another person, without the salve’s full informed consent for exploitation.

5.Forced Labour Convention (ILO) 1930.

Article-1 of this convention calls for the suppression of the use of forced or compulsory labour in all its forms as soon as possible.

7.Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)

Article 4 of the Declaration prohibits slavery and the slave trade.  Article – 13 recognies the right of persons

8. Unconventional for the suppression of the traffic in persons and of the exploitation of the prostitution of others (1949).

This convention is a compilation of four previous international conventions 1904, 1910, 1921 and 1933.  It made procurement, enticement, etc for prostitution punishable, irrespective of the age of the person involved and his/her consent to the same (Article -1).  Brothel keeping was also denounced as illegal and punishable Article 20.  However, it is limited to trafficking for prostitution and related activities.

10.Abolition of forced Labour convention (ILO) 1957.

Under this convention, states parties under took to abolish any form of forced or compulsory labour that is used as a means to establish political coercion, economic development, labout discipline or racial, social, National or religious discrimination.

15.United Nations convention against Torture and other cruel; inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (1984)

The convention provides against the expulsion or return of a person another state if there are substantial grounds for deeming him/her to be in danger of torture.  Victim compensation measures are also stipulate in it.

16.Tourism Bill of rights and the Tourist code (1985)

Adopted by the WTO, the code enjoins that state parties should preclude any possibility of the use of tourism to exploit others for the purpose of prostitution.

Legal Frame Work Against Trafficking In South Asian Countries:

BANGLADESH:

The Bangladesh constitution guarantees equal rights and equal protection to every one regardless of gender.  The fundamental principles of state policy require the state to prevent prostitution. Article 34(1) prohibits all forms of forced labour.  The suppression of immoral Traffic Act 1933 protects all children up to the age of 18 from sexual exploitation.  The women and children repression; prevention Act 2000 provides stringent penalties against trafficking, Kidnapping, collection random, rape, the sexual exploitation etc., These provisions also apply to both internal and cross broader trafficking.  These were the some of the legal framework in Bangladesh Against Human Trafficking.

BHUTAN:

There is very little information available on the laws of.  Bhutan on trafficking.  In 2001, the UN committee on the Rights of the child considered Bhutan’s initial report and noted the absence of legislation on the minimum age of for employment.  There is insufficient data and awareness regarding the Human Trafficking.  It also suggested that new laws Need to be promulgated and existing law need to be suitably amended to address these issues.

MALDIVES:

There is no specific law to prohibit or prevent the trafficking in persons.  There are no reports of persons being trafficked to from or within the country  following Nationwide consultations, the Government has drawn up a National plan of action on the basis of the Beijing platform for action and the common wealth plan of Action on Gender and Development.

NEPAL:

The constitution of Nepal enshrines the principles of equality and Justice for every citizen without any discrimination on the basis of race, caste, sex, creed, etc., and safe Guards the human rights of all citizens. Code of law 1963. Lays down provisions against Inter-state and other of slavery and domestic trafficking-section decrees prison sentences of 20 years for International trafficking and 10 years for attempted sale, plus fines equaling to the amount of transaction.

PAKISTAN:

One of Pakistan’s major problems is the smuggling of children to countries in Gulf for camel Jockey and racing.  The high profits and the lessening fear of harsh punishment have bolstered syndicates of Human traffickers across “Asia, the middle east and Europe.

The prevention and control of Human Trafficking ordinance 2002 has been promulgated to deal with all types of human trafficking.    However the legislation suffers from certain limitations.  Also legislation is focused on trans border trafficking and not on domestic trafficking.  And the Human trafficking ordinance 2002 defines Human trafficking to include trafficking for any purpose, via, prostitution Forced labour and services.  It also takes into considerations the organised nature of the crime and presumes the vicarious liability of each member of the trafficker’s group by providing for stringer gent punishments; the ordinance also includes provisions for the compensations for the victims.

SRILANKA:

In country trafficking is one of srilanka’s major problems s.360 of the srilankan penal code deals with the offence of trafficking defined as the act of buying or sealing or bartering of any person for money or for any other consideration.  Those assisting, arranging the travel, recruiting, etc., said to be trafficking and be prostituted.

The national child protection Authority act is a landmark initiative that can help in preventing child abuse and in protecting child abuse and in protecting the rights  of children.

INDIA:

The constitution of India, under Article 23(1), prohibits trafficking in human beings and forced labour; this right enforceable against the state and private citizens.

However, trafficking was never defined in Indian laws except in the Goa children Act, which is specified to the state of Goa.  In India the law has no express provision for confiscating the assets amassed by the traffickers, nor does it have provisions for the victim protection.  The concerned authorities should consider these points so that the laws and provisions are made victim friendly.

Let us prevent commercial dealings in human beings.

source: http://pakistanlaw.net/law-articles/trafficking-issues-and-framework-of-laws/

Young Woman Disappears Under Strange Circumstances

Jessica Edith Louise Foster

Jessica Foster missing persons,Jessica Foster

Possible Location(s):

  • Canada
  • National
  • Las Vegas , NV
  • North Las Vegas , NV

Latest Airing:

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Jessie Foster had it all. The Canadian-born beauty had plenty of friends and a close-knit family, but in the spring of 2006, she vanished without a trace. Now, cops in Las Vegas need your help to find out what might have happened to her.
»The Full Story
»Is A Serial Killer Murdering Las Vegas Prostitutes?

Other Nevada Missing Persons:
»The Search Continues For Opal Parsons
»Nevada Woman Vanishes Without A Trace

source: http://www.amw.com/missing_persons/brief.cfm?id=60803

From Clark County star student to stripper


Brianna

In less than a week, a Clark County teenager went from start student to stripper. Her story contains a warning and a lesson for all parents about the hidden sex trafficking trade operating in the Northwest.

Brianna was convinced she had found a boyfriend and freedom. But in less than a week she found herself in a strip club far from home.

Police say she was flirting with something much more dangerous.

Family photos tell the story of a girl who grew up supported by a loving family. She excelled in school and sports. But what happened in December 2009 left her and her parents shaken.

“Living in a small community I’ve never not felt safe,” Brianna told KGW, “and I don’t feel safe (now).”

It was early December when a twenty-something man from Seattle named Nick and his friend started frequenting the local cafe where Brianna worked part time.

“They were really flirty and just really really nice,” recalled Brianna.

Just days after Brianna turned 18, Nick invited her up to check out Seattle, where she wanted to go to college. She borrowed her dad’s car, lied about where she was going, and headed north.

Once she got there she didn’t want to go home. Nick bought her expensive things, offered her a spare room, and even money for college.

“It was kind of exhilarating, kind of like ‘I’m finally out on my own but I have this really awesome guy who’s wanting to take care of me,’” said Brianna.

Nick helped her get a “job.” By her second night in Seattle, Brianna had gone from star student to stripper. “I was there for about four hours and I made $350,” said Brianna.

Nick pocketed that money, along with her phone. She was being cut off from her now frantic family, and tightly controlled.

From Seattle, Brianna called Evan, a trusted friend back home. She had to return her dad’s car, and wanted to know if he would give her a ride back to Nick afterwards.

Evan became suspicious. “As soon as she said he had two cell phones I knew this guy was involved in something illegal,” he said.

Evan agreed to give her a ride. Then he did something that might have saved her life. He betrayed her trust.

When Brianna arrived to meet him, she found her mom and his parents, who had miraculously tracked down former Washington Congresswoman Linda Smith. Smith founded Shared Hope International, an organization that rescues girls from the sex trade around the world.

Smith had no doubt that Brianna was being lured down a path that would end with violence and prostitution. It was too familiar.

“I call it the ‘go to hell’ look – she really wanted all of us to go there,” recalled Smith, who proceeded to describe the recruitment process, “what they say, what they do, the things they would omit” to a disbelieving Brianna.

“I found it annoying,” said Brianna. “Then I realized that all the stories were the same as mine.”

Brianna stopped taking Nick’s calls, and now feels foolish for being so naive. But sex trafficking isn’t something most families warn their kids about.

“We need to educate our girls about what this is and how they get there,” Smith said.

Brianna’s family shared their story with KGW in the hope that public awareness could protect other girls, because police can’t do much. In this case, officers said no crime was committed because Brianna was 18 and, although she was manipulated, she was not forced to do anything.

Brianna is still afraid to be alone but grateful to be the one that got away. “I’m just happy that I’m here, that I’m alive, that I’m back.”

Link to video: http://www.nwcn.com/news/oregon/From-Clark-Co-star-student-to-stripper-81766552.html

source:Shared Hope International

ISRAEL PROTECTS THE ‘HUMAN RIGHTS’ OF SEX OFFENDERS

Parents might want to think twice about allowing their children to visit Israel on youth delegations…. at least until the country gets its priorities straight…. (no pun intended)

The Supreme Court of Israel has officially lost its collective mind.

The Supreme Court accepted an appeal by Yitzhak Mondrovich against his extradition on Thursday, 25 years after he arrived in Israel and 24 years after US authorities indicted him on suspicion of committing 13 sexual crimes against five boys aged nine to 13.

“The legal and moral basis of the extradition procedure according to the Israeli extradition law is not restricted to being an important tool in the war against international and domestic crime,” Justice Ayala Procaccia wrote.”

“It is also, at the same time, a procedure which takes human rights into consideration, both by the country requesting the extradition and the extraditing country. The fear of undermining an extradition procedure like this one cannot surmount the need to look at its implications for human rights and the fundamental values of the system of the country being asked to extradite.”


A country that bars journalists from entry, simply because they REPORT the truth about the occupation, bars entry to notable world leaders for fear that they might SEE the truth, is concerned about Human Rights?

What about the rights of the Palestinian people that have been living under the most inhumane occupation in centuries?

What about the rights of the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem whose homes are siezed illegally by Jewish settlers?

What about the rights of Ethiopian children to go to school?

Obviously none of the above is important enough to be dealt with by the ‘lawmakers’ of the country.

The article that the above in italics is from can be read HERE.
Zion be proud….. you are showing the world your true colours!

source:  http://uprootedpalestinians.blogspot.com/2010/01/israel-protects-human-rights-of-sex.html

Published in: on January 16, 2010 at 9:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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PRISON PAYS? City investigates allegation that sex offender was on payroll while in prison

The Department of Public Works is now investigating allegations an employee jailed for sexually abusing a minor remained on the city payroll while serving out his sentence, city officials confirmed Friday.

The employee, Dennis McLaughlin, also worked in city neighborhoods as a water maintenance worker, tasked with occasionally entering private residences to investigate water leaks after his release from prison — even though he was listed on the state’s sex offender registry.

City officials said Friday that they did not know the 10-year employee was on the Maryland Sex Offender Registry, or even that he had served nearly a year in prison for sexually abusing a minor.

McLaughlin, 37,  was arrested for allegedly impersonating a police officer while sexually assaulting a Baltimore County woman on Tuesday. Charged with impersonating a police officer, false imprisonment, and sexual assault, McLaughlin is now being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention center.

However, city officials said they still are not sure how McLaughlin managed to stay on the city payroll while in jail, or how much money he was paid while serving out his sentence.

“It seems like we have a problem,” Department of Public Works Director David Scott said in a phone interview Friday.

“It appears he used leave,” he said. “We are investigating.”

“We will have answers soon.”

In 2007 McLaughlin pleaded guilty to first-degree sex offense for sexually abusing a minor under the age of 15.  He was sentenced in June 2007 to 16 months in prison. But the state releasied McLaughlin on May 3, 2008 — eight months early, according to the Maryland Department of Corrections.

Payroll records obtained by Investigative Voice and Fox 45 show McLaughlin earning $25,000 of his $32,000 annual salary in 2008, along with $4,500 in overtime.

City employees earn vacation leave, compensatory time, personal leave and sick leave. However, city officials said they did not know if jailed employees were eligible to use vacation or other leave time while incarcerated.

A source inside the Department of Public Works said McLaughlin was on sick leave during his jail stay.

City employees who are convicted of serious crimes generally are subject to termination hearings.

Privately city officials said it was not clear if there was a specific policy in place to screen sex offenders from jobs in the DPW that involve working with the public.

“I don’t think he should have been doing any field work if he was a registered sex offender,” said City Councilman Bernard “Jack” Young.

source: http://tinyurl.com/yzgc6t4

Published in: on January 16, 2010 at 8:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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How has Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. increased your life?

Following, individuals respond to the question, “How has Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. increased your life?”

increase verb: become or make greater in size, amount, intensity, or degree; noun: an instance of growing or making greater
PHRASES on the increase: becoming greater, more common, or more frequent

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. strikes a reflective pose during a March visit to Memphis and Mason Temple in 1968. (Photos courtesy of Mark Stansbury)

Dr. Karanja Ajanaku“I first ‘met’ Dr. King in January of 1985. He had been dead nearly 17 years. The ‘introduction’ was by his one-time scheduling secretary, Dr. Washiri Ajanaku, formerly Francis Sims Bascom. Through her, I got acquainted with the human being who she said gave all he had for all people, particularlyAfrican Americans. She paved the way for me to meet the man who would become my mentor, Dr. Nkosi K.M. Ajanaku, esq. He told me Dr. King was the ‘modern day Founding Father’ – the person whose life provides a bridge to the country’s Founding Fathers. Once I ‘tagged up’ with the Founding Fathers, he said, I would have the footing to pursue the idea of making Memphis a model city in honor of Dr. King. That remains my mission. In 2010, I’m determined to increase the pace.”

Karanja Aidoo Ajanaku,
Executive Editor, Tri-State Defender

Mark Stansbury“Dr. King increased my life first by setting an example as a positive male role model: A family man with integrity and Christian values. I was on one of the Civil Rights marches from Memphis to Jackson, Miss., photographing history along with my mentor the late Ernest Withers. Dr. King came and finished the march after James Meredith was shot in Hernando, Miss. We ended on the steps of the capitol. I admired him because he was approachable.”

Mark Stansbury

“While I’ve always been a relatively outspoken person, it was during my college years that I felt compelled to speak out against some of the subtle and sometimes blatant acts of racism that I encountered. I did so verbally as well as with pen and paper. I was once questioned as to why I was being so vocal. I felt, and still feel, that had it not been for the efforts of MLK, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, etc…, our talents would possibly still not be recognized. While Dr. King’s vision of equality has been realized to a certain extent, the fact that “Negro” is actually being considered in this age and in a country with it’s first African-American president says we still need to do more.”

Joyce Spencer

“Martin Luther King has been a great influence on my life. He’s helped black people to get where they are now; with getting jobs and the way they think upon life. (You) can do anything, if you set your mind to it. I can do anything that I want to do. Even though he was way before my lifetime, he has still had a great influence on my life.”

Donald Weems, 19

“Dr. King’s legacy has reflected a whole lot on my life style and living. A lot of things we couldn’t do back then, we can do now. He came and brought us a long way from slavery. We use to have to sit on the back of the bus and sit at the back of the counter to eat. There were separated restrooms: one for whites and the other for blacks, but now we all can do what we want to. He just opened a lot of doors for us. We appreciate him, and I hope that his legacy continues in the future.”

Tammi Dandridge, 47

“Because of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I know that I can do what I want…”

“There are no limits and I can do what I want to do, if I put my mind to it. Anything can happen and you can achieve at what you want to do. Just do your best and put your mind to it, and you will achieve your goal.”

Macihiela and Malaika Moore, (twins), 17

“Dr. King inspired me because he showed that no matter what the race is, no matter if its black or white, you can stand up for yourself. Equality means a lot, everyone has an equal chance and equal opportunity in life to be successful; to be what you want to be with no stumbling blocks – as far as racism – to hold you down.”

“Jr.,” 27

“Dr. King has helped me tremendously to get an education, to be able to go places I never thought that we would be able to go. He helped me personally come up from a place of being no where: not having any indoor toilets, not having any books at school and chopping wood and carrying water to (now) being able to have an education so you can be autonomous and go wherever you want to go in the world.”

Stephanie Jones, 44

“He has helped us tremendously. We, as black people, have come a long way. As I child I’ve heard about all that he has done, and as an adult I have experienced the racism. A lot of times we still complain about not having the right to do this or that. Now we are having a problem with people not wanting to vote. If we didn’t have someone to fight and die for our rights, we would still be as second-rate citizens. I love Dr. King and I honor his legacy. There should be more people like him.”

Natasha Rule, 33

“He made the whites and blacks join together to have a good time. And we are no longer judged by the color of our skin.”

Asia, 11

“When Dr. Martin Luther King passed in 1968, I was 13. I was down on Mulberry Street in the march. He influenced me in a great way. He was non-violent and a preacher of the gospel. I am also a minister, so he really influenced my life; and he is really a great example for the world.”

Rev. Murray Vasser, 54

“Martin Luther King gave an example to everyone what selflessness was. He knew that his end would come because what he was doing came with a price.”

Antario Pope, 29

“After the W.E. B. Duboises and the Harriet Tubmans, we needed another black leader, and he was the next step to bring us into an area where we felt more confident to progress in life, and go to the next stage and to make a way for the future generations to be more successful, and to accomplish things that just don’t affect ourselves, but to be greater than ourselves. So do things that will affect others for years to come. Dr. King laid that foundation. He was the one who instilled in me that I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”

Maxie Kincaid, 50

“Dr. King has paved the way for me and my age group because he has opened doors for us that were not. Now our opportunities are endless. We can do anything, be anything and go anywhere. Nobody can stop us.”

Jasmine Ely, 16

“Dr. King, to me…one of the most prominent things that stands out in my mind is his selflessness. And as a Christ follower I really do use him as an example of how not to always put myself first and to always focus on the larger picture. So that is the precious gift that Dr. King has left me with.”

Sharcie Jones, 30

Myron Mays“Dr. Martin Luther King has influenced my desire to lead. He has shown me that it takes personal responsibility as well as a willingness to serve to be a great leader. A great leader has to have compassion and understand the needs of those of which they are leading. He has shown me that if you know your purpose on this earth, you will be better suited to be the influence that you’re meant to be on the lives of others.”

Myron Mays – WRBO Soul Classics 103.5 FM

“Dr. King helped me realize that violence wasn’t always the only viable response. He showed me that I had to consider a different path, that I had other options available to make my voice heard and my point made. Above all, Dr. King showed me that even in the face of insurmountable odds, I could prevail.”

Earle Augustus – WRBO Soul Classics 103.5 FM

“Dr. Martin Luther King has influenced my life from the sacrifices he made for African Americans here in this country. Peace is the most important thing he has taught me. Even with our very first African-American president, racism is still alive. Instead of turning towards violence, displaying a peaceful demeanor can pull races together.”

Yvette Whiteside – AM 1070 WDIA

“As a young man growing up without a father in my home I needed a positive role to look up to. Dr. King’s life served to show me that there is honor in serving others. As a radio personality, I take great honor in serving this community, modeling the example set by Dr. Martin Luther King.”

Michael Adrian Davis – WHAL 95.7 Hallelujah FM

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has influenced my life simply because he showed me that the true passion in believing in something is far beyond the thought of just thinking that something is right, but willing to die for what you believe in. He has also influenced my life on a leadership level because some people are put on this earth to represent more than just themselves or their families. Their life represents a movement on a scale that the everyday person can’t fathom or even understand. But deep down he knew his purpose and he served it to the fullest.”

Nate Boogie – Radio Personality – WHRK K-97FM

“The impact Dr Martin Luther King Jr. has on my life still continues. Growing up in the South and hearing the stories of how my mom boycotted and went to jail during the civil rights movement still humbles me to this day. Now as an adult, I look back and say wow. I was glad to be a student of a high school that was 70 percent white and 30 percent black and then on to an historical black college. All of this prepared me to deal with all parts of life from all walks of life. People are beautiful and the love for GOD that MLK showed us transcends all hater attitudes. If people can come together for the greater good, the world will be a better place. Dr. King also showed us that no matter what you’re going through, keep your head up and keep going.”

Jeff Lee – AM 1070 WDIA

“Over the years, I have done more and more reading about Dr. King and have come to admire the leadership style he had. He was so charismatic and easy-going in his approach to dealing with hostile and difficult situations. Looking at his leadership in comparison to others at that time (it) was seemingly easier to follow. That style is one that I’ve wanted to emulate in my management…motivating, inspiring, and effective. I appreciate the vision and determination he had. I’m glad that God led him in that direction so that we could live the lives that we do live today.”

Eileen Collier – 95.7 Hallelujah FM

source:  http://tri-statedefenderonline.com/articlelive/articles/4531/1/How-has-Dr-Martin-Luther-King-Jr-increased-your-life/Page1.htm

Published in: on January 16, 2010 at 8:21 am  Comments (1)  
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